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FFL: Week 3 | NFL: Week 3

Best Ball Strategy 

Wed Aug 7 11:43am ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer

Cooper capable of huge game


If you haven’t heard, best ball fantasy leagues are all the rage these days. These are the fastest growing leagues on our site. Drafts are going off every night (click here). We are here to help you win your best ball league. This column will focus on the strategy of a best ball format, giving you some tips to help you win big. 

If you aren’t familiar, here is a quick rundown of the best ball format. The best ball format means you don’t have to set a weekly lineup. Your best possible roster will be automatically selected after the games are completed for the week. There are no free agent moves during the season. All you do is draft. After the draft is complete, you can sit back and watch the rest of the season. It is all the fun of drafting but without the daily management. 

The best ball leagues normally start nine players: a quarterback, two running backs, two receivers, a tight end, flex, defense and kicker. Drafts are anywhere between 20 and 25 rounds long, making rosters deeper because of the inability to make free agent moves during the season. 

So now that you know the rules, here is a look at some tips for having a successful best ball draft. First off, you are going to take more quarterbacks and tight ends than in a normal draft. Taking three quarterbacks and three tight ends is a smart move in best ball leagues. You just need one player to hit each week, so having more to choose from will help you optimize your chances for that big week. Grabbing three players at each position is the way to go in best ball formats. 

In a best ball league, going with boom or best players is a good idea. Getting players with a high weekly ceiling is a smart move. You need those big weekly games to advance in best ball formats. Guys like Amari Cooper and DeSean Jackson are ranked a little higher for me in this format. These are guys that can drive you a little crazy in standard leagues because of their erratic play, but you can live with that in best ball leagues. There are options on your bench that can makeup for the bad games from Cooper and Jackson. You start just two receivers on a weekly basis and likely have three or four options on your bench. There is a good chance one of your bench options hits any given week, which can makeup for the erratic play of a guy like Cooper if he busts. 

So taking three quarterbacks is a good idea, but grabbing one in the early rounds isn’t. If you think about it, you just need one quarterback to hit each week with a big number. If you take three in the middle to later rounds of your draft, can one of those guys post an elite fantasy number each week? Your answer is likely a big yes. You are better served in a best ball format loading up on running backs and receivers early in your draft. These positions are a little more uncertain, so getting quality running backs and receivers early in your draft is a good plan come draft day. Don’t waste early picks on the quarterback spot. The quarterback position also is crazy deep this year.

The tight end spot is a little different this year. Normally, approaching the tight end position is similar to the quarterback position. Get three in the middle to later rounds of your draft and hope one hits each week. We still suggest getting three tight ends but going early on one of the three elite options this year might give you an advantage. There are three players that stick out head and shoulders above the rest: Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz and George Kittle. Taking one of those three players in the second or third round of a best ball draft might give you an advantage over the rest of your league-mates. The lesser tight end options aren’t as likely to score big when they have their good games. This is something to keep in mind come draft day. Going early on one of the three elite tight ends could set you apart this year. They are worth an early-round pick.

There is some debate with this next suggestion, but we think getting two kickers and two defenses is the way to go in best ball. The big reason is that if you take just one at each position, you are going to be giving up six or seven points in one game because of bye weeks. Can you afford to lose those points when every game matters so much in fantasy? We just aren’t sure it is worth risking, especially since rosters are so deep anyway. Every game matters so much in fantasy that giving away just one game could be the difference between making or missing the playoffs. So go ahead and grab two kickers and defenses in the last few rounds of your draft to make sure you are maximizing your points each week of the season.

In closing, use your early picks wisely, getting a lot of talent at running back and receiver. These positions are a little more uncertain, so getting plenty of options at those spots is a good move in this format. And don’t be afraid to go deep at any position, especially if you have some questions marks for your projected top point getter at the position. You also have to take some chances late in the draft, trying to find a player that might emerge later in the season or something along those lines. This is the format to take more risks. You have the roster space, so don’t be afraid to take some chances along the way. There are going to be players selected in this format that you would never consider taking in a standard league. 

Good luck and happy drafting! 

Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at jeff@rtsports.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.

Player Notes
Josh Allen Sep 26 5:00pm ET

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen has been fantastic through the first two weeks of the regular season. In Week 2, Allen threw for 415 passing yards with four touchdowns in the victory over the Miami Dolphins. However, he'll face a tougher battle against the Los Angeles Rams this week. The tough Rams secondary held quarterback Carson Wentz to zero touchdowns. Allen has looked good this season, so we'll give him the benefit of the doubt. He should be treated as a low-end QB1 for this matchup.

From RotoBaller

Devin Singletary Sep 26 5:00pm ET

Buffalo Bills running back Devin Singletary has been fairly average through the first two games of the regular season. He rushed 10 times for 56 yards in the victory over the Miami Dolphins in Week 2. He continues to split up the carries with rookie Zack Moss, which hurts his value. However, he'll get a favorable matchup against the Los Angeles Rams this week. The same Rams Defense that allowed Miles Sanders to nearly rush for 100 yards last game. Although, Singletary is likely only going to see around 10 carries, so he should be treated as a high-end RB3.

From RotoBaller

Stefon Diggs Sep 26 5:00pm ET

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs gets a tough test in Week 3 against the Rams. Diggs will be going up against star cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who has traditionally limited most top receivers in his career. Diggs ranks in the top-five in targets and is tied for first in the league with 239 receiving yards, so he's certainly talented enough to win this matchup. However, the Rams have been a classic funnel defense in the first two games of the season, so expect Buffalo to have more success with the run than the pass. It's possible Diggs connects on a long shot with Josh Allen, though it's best to view him as more of a WR2 than the WR1 he's been through the first two weeks.

From RotoBaller

Devin Singletary Sep 26 4:40pm ET

Buffalo Bills running back Devin Singletary will operate as the team's lead back in Week 3 with rookie Zack Moss (toe) declared out for the contest against the Rams. That should open up at least 15 touches for Singletary against a Rams Defense that ranks 27th in rush DVOA. It's a great opportunity for the second-year pro and it vaults him from flex-status up to the RB2 conversation. Singletary is a must-start at this point in redraft leagues and should also be considered a good option in DFS formats.

From RotoBaller

Melvin Ingram Sep 26 4:30pm ET

Los Angeles Chargers edge rusher Melvin Ingram (knee) was placed on the injured reserve on Saturday. The team will be without the services of Ingram- who has recorded at least seven sacks in each of the last five seasons- for the next three contests. It's certainly a downgrade for the Chargers' defensive unit as a whole, considering Ingram is one of their best pass-rushers. They could still be started in Week 3 against Carolina, though matchups against the Buccaneers and Saints, already shaky with Ingram, become matchups to avoid without him.

From RotoBaller

Josh Jacobs Sep 26 4:00pm ET

Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (hip) is listed as questionable for Week 3 against the Patriots. Tight end Darren Waller (knee) is also questionable. Both players were able to get limited practice sessions in on Friday after not being available earlier in the week and should be able to suit up Sunday. At first glance, it seems like a tough matchup for Jacobs, though New England ranks just 20th in rush DVOA. It's always a nerve-wracking experience starting a player against a Bill Belichick-defense, though Jacobs is currently seeing a ton of volume in this offense. If he's playing, you're starting him.

From RotoBaller

Darrel Williams Sep 26 3:50pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins (concussion, neck) is questionable for Week 3 against the Ravens while running back Darrel Williams (ankle) will suit up. Watkins was able to practice in full on Saturday after getting in a limited session on Friday, so he's heading in the right direction. The veteran receiver is a risky start against Baltimore's tough secondary, considering he registered just one catch in Week 2 after posting a 7-82-1 line in Week 1. Williams will likely take a backseat to rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire and won't have much fantasy value in Week 3.

From RotoBaller

Russell Wilson Sep 26 3:40pm ET

Dallas Cowboys cornerback Chidobe Awuzie (hamstring) has been placed on the injured reserve by the team on Saturday. This means he'll miss the Cowboys' next three contests, which includes a big matchup against the Seahawks in Week 3. Rookie corner Trevon Diggs is also banged up with a shoulder injury, so this secondary is now far from healthy. It's bad news for Dallas because they'll be tasked with slowing down a red-hot Russell Wilson on Sunday. It's a safe bet to expect a lot of points to be scored in this game. Nearly every skill-position player should be started in this contest.

From RotoBaller

DeAndre Hopkins Sep 26 3:30pm ET

Detroit Lions cornerback Desmond Trufant (hamstring) has been ruled out for Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals. Trufant was able to get in a couple limited sessions after not participating in Wednesday's practice, though it appears he is not quite ready yet. It's a blow to a Lions' pass defense that has surrendered five passing touchdowns in two games. Cardinals wideout DeAndre Hopkins will now likely go toe-to-toe with rookie cornerback Jeff Okudah, which is a boost to Hopkins' already elite fantasy value this week.

From RotoBaller

A.J. Terrell Sep 26 3:20pm ET

Atlanta Falcons cornerback A.J. Terrell (illness) was placed on the COVID list on Saturday. The number-16 overall pick from the 2020 draft is the NFL's first positive case of the season, as the results came back from a Friday morning test. As of right now, the Falcons have no other positive tests, though this is obviously something to monitor up until kickoff on Sunday. The rest of the team was tested again Saturday morning and those results will come back Sunday morning. From a football perspective, this hurts an already-struggling Falcons' defense that has allowed the fourth-most passing yards in the NFL heading into Week 3.

From RotoBaller

Dak Prescott Sep 26 11:50am ET

Dallas Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith (neck) isn't expected to play against the Seahawks in Week 3. Ordinarily, replacing a tackle of Smith's caliber with someone else would be an issue for any offense, but the Seahawks rank in the middle of the league this year in pressure percentage and the Cowboys passing and rushing offense should still be in fine shape in a game that many expect to be a shootout. Don't think Smith's absence means you need to downgrade Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, or any of the team's other options.

From RotoBaller

Morris Claiborne Sep 26 11:43am ET

Free-agent CB Morris Claiborne (Chiefs) is not actively looking for work but is remaining in shape in case the ideal circumstance to return presents itself.

From TheHuddle

Jack Doyle Sep 26 11:40am ET

Indianapolis Colts tight end Jack Doyle (ankle/knee) is set to return on Sunday against the New York Jets. Quarterback Philip Rivers looked to tight end Mo Alie-Cox often in last week's game and with Doyle sliding into the lineup, Rivers should continue to target the tight end position. Doyle might not see the same snap rate we're used to from the reliable veteran, but he's a definite streaming option for fantasy managers who are looking for additional help at a shallow position.

From RotoBaller

JaMycal Hasty Sep 26 11:30am ET

The San Francisco 49ers are promoting running back JaMycal Hasty to the active roster for Sunday's game against the New York Giants. With injuries to their top two running backs, the Niners weren't going to go into Week 3 with only Jerick McKinnon and Jeff Wilson Jr. on the roster. McKinnon and Wilson should see almost all of the work, so don't get too excited about Hasty this week, who'll likely see just a handful of touches at best and shouldn't be on anyone's fantasy radar...yet.

From RotoBaller

Reggie Bonnafon Sep 26 11:30am ET

The Carolina Panthers have promoted running back Reggie Bonnafon to the active roster ahead of Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Chargers. With Christian McCaffrey on the injured reserve, making this move seems like an obvious choice. Many expected Bonnafon to be the primary backup to McCaffrey this season, but he was passed by both Mike Davis and Trenton Cannon on the depth chart and wound up on the Carolina practice squad. Don't expect more than a handful of touches at most for Bonnafon, whose addition shouldn't impact Mike Davis's workload.

From RotoBaller

Fletcher Cox Sep 26 11:23am ET

Philadelphia Eagles DT Fletcher Cox (oblique) is considered a game-time decision for Week 3's game against the Cincinnati Bengals, according to head coach Doug Pederson. He practiced on a limited basis Friday, Sept. 25, after missing the team's first two practice sessions of the week, and is officially listed as questionable on the injury report.

From TheHuddle

LeSean McCoy Sep 26 11:10am ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back LeSean McCoy was targeted seven times in Week 2, which is just enough times to make him semi-interesting as a rosterable option in deep leagues. His complete lack of involvement in the run game and 18 percent snap rate show just how risky of an option he is, though, and he should be barely on the fantasy radar in Week 3 against the Broncos. Maybe in a 16-team league, you throw the dart at him and hope the targets continue, but otherwise steer clear of the veteran rusher.

From RotoBaller

Preston Williams Sep 26 10:50am ET

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Preston Williams was unable to make much of an impact during the Thursday night victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. He hauled in both of his two targets for seven yards and one touchdown. It was a disappointing game for Williams, but quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick only had 20 passing attempts on the night. It has been a slow start to the season for Williams, but things should pick up next week. He'll get a favorable matchup against the Seattle Seahawks who have one of the worst pass defenses in the league.

From RotoBaller

Mike Gesicki Sep 26 10:40am ET

Miami Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki was able to score a touchdown for the second time in two weeks during the Thursday night victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Gesicki hauled in one of three targets for 15 yards and one touchdown. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick only had 20 passing attempts in this one, so it was a bit of an odd game. Regardless, Gesicki carries TE1 value into a favorable matchup versus the Seattle Seahawks shaky pass defense in Week 4.

From RotoBaller

Kenny Stills Sep 26 10:30am ET

If you thought the Texans and their revamped wide receiver core would feature some wide-open, four-receiver sets this season, you were wrong. Houston hasn't run a single play this season with four receivers and has run just one play without a tight end. This is one of the reasons to stay away from the team's No. 4 receiver, Kenny Stills, in Week 3. Still a talented wideout, Stills is on the field less than half of the time and has just two catches for 16 yards this season. Unless there are injuries ahead of him, Stills is a fantasy afterthought right now.

From RotoBaller